With over 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry, actress Caity Lotz is learning how to make her career a part of her life rather than all of it. Lotz, who has starred in popular shows such as Mad Men, Arrow, and now Legends of Tomorrow, is focusing her energy on new projects that excite her while maintaining peace in her private life. When she is not leading the Legends of Tomorrow pack as White Canary, she co-runs Shethority, a website created to provide women with a community and safe space. Lotz discusses the power of strong, female characters and supportive communities in our 16th issue.
What was your first ever role? Or what was it that got you into acting?
I started as a dancer first. I started dancing when I was seven and then I started dancing professionally when I was seventeen. So that is what brought me out to LA. I was dancing, then moved to Europe and was in a singing group—a very random chapter of my life. I came back and started acting; my first role was on Mad Men. I was pretty lucky with that one.
What originally drew you to Arrow and to your role, White Canary?
I started on Arrow, which is another DC Comics book show. That is where my character originated. So I started playing Sara Lance/White Canary on Arrow, and then after that, they wanted to include her in Legends of Tomorrow. My favorite thing about [White Canary] is her passion and strength. She is a leader! At the time, there weren’t a lot of bisexual characters so to be able to play a character that can help bring more of that kind of representation on television was really important for me.
You directed an episode this season. Was this your first time directing? What was the experience like?
It was a phenomenal experience—so much fun! It was super eye opening realizing just how much goes into making an episode of the show in such little time. I love being able to be on the other side of it. It was a tremendous amount of work, but the crew and the cast were so supportive. It was really heartwarming how much everybody rallied together and went the extra mile to help make sure that this was going to be great.
We wanted to try to create a space where people can realize that they’re not alone and that they have worth.
Tell me about Shethority.
Shethority has been going on for about two years, trying to create communities for women to really help lift each other up and get out of this trap of competing against each other. There isn’t only one spot, and especially in the entertainment industry, it can be hard to forget that. It is really nice to be able to create that space for more collaboration and support. That came up, for me, just by talking to fans and seeing a lot of people struggling with the same issues all alone. We wanted to try to create a space where people can realize that they’re not alone and that they have worth.
What are some topics that are difficult to speak about that you’re hoping to do more articles on?
One of the things, especially since it is a little more specific to our industry, is about money. In any industry, but especially in the artistic community, you have people doing work but the pay is not equal at all. A lot of us women have been talking to each other more about money, how much we’re getting paid and how negotiations are going. This is not something which is traditionally encouraged—talking about money never is. The studios don’t want that because it can be used to negotiate against them, and actors feel uncomfortable because it feels as though it’s tied to their “worth.” Traditionally, women are getting paid a lot less than men. We as women have begun to be really open about it, and so have the guys.
What piece of advice would you give a younger female actress trying to make it today?
I think my advice would be to learn everything. Especially in this day and age, you can make your own YouTube channel, raise money, and shoot your own short film. The more you self-generate work the better. One of the most frustrating parts about being an actor is sitting around and waiting for somebody to hand you a part or believe in you and be whatever it is that they are looking for. There are so many factors; a huge portion of it is also luck. So if you don’t want to wait around for your lucky day then create your own opportunities.
STORY ANA SANDOVAL
PHOTOS RAUL ROMO
HAIR MICHAEL KANYON
MAKEUP MOLLY GREENWALD
STYLIST TARA NICHOLS
CREATIVE DIRECTION ANNA ZHANG